Austin is situated along the balconies fault line, which has not had a seismic event in modern history. It's not uncommon for people in Central Texas to feel an earthquake with an epicenter that’s hundreds of miles away. Thursday night, about the same time a Magnitude 8 earthquake rocked southern Mexico, social media erupted in Austin. A little before midnight FOX 7's Rebecca Thomas asked, did anyone just feel a small earthquake? Several people responded.
Nabeel Io posted he thought it was a train. Aldryana Aldreen said it caused her lamp to vibrate.
Will Leverett felt his apartment sway for 20 to 30 seconds.
Jason Pepas posted two tremors were felt near I-35 and 32nd.
According to the United States Geological Survey, the epicenter of the earthquake in Mexico is located 650 miles southwest of Mexico City.
The wave from the quake was tracked as it expanded out past the capitol city.
University of Texas geophysicist, Dr. Thorsten Becker doubts the event was strong enough to rock buildings in Austin but admits that people living in a high rise could have felt something. "This is a very large earthquake and instrumentally with seismometers we can measure these events globally but locally you should not see much shaking once you are outside a range of a thousand miles or more,” said Dr. Becker.
The large number of local reports on the USGS website, more than 200 from Austin to San Antonio, surprised Dr. Becker. He also found it interesting that two other Seismic events took place overnight.
The USGS and the center for earthquake research and information at the University of Memphis also recorded seismic activity Thursday night and early Friday morning in the United States.
A 4.3 earthquake took place near Stillwater just before 9:30 and early Friday morning, south of Pueblo near the Colorado / New Mexico state line a 3.7 earthquake took place.
Professor Becker says it is possible some people felt the Oklahoma and Colorado events, and got the timing confused with the quake in Mexico. He also said that U.T. is working on its one seismic reporting network for Texas which may go on line by the end of the year - or early next year.